Patricia Krentcil headshot, New Jersey woman accused of taking her 5-year-old daughter into a tanning booth
New Jersey health regulators have fined a tanning salon frequented by a woman who faces a child-endangerment charge after her 5-year-old daughter allegedly suffered first-degree burns in a booth, according to news reports.
City Tropics Tanning 2 in Nutley was fined $5,200 for 33 violations -- including overexposure -- that were mostly related to a patron who was alloed 24 tanning sessions in March, the Nutley Sun reported, citing records from the New Jersey Department of Health and Senior Services.
Inspectors said that according to the exposure standards by the manufacturer of the tanning equipment, the maximum number of sessions for a customer with "an established base tan" would be one per week. The New Jersey Indoor Tanning Association said inspectors misinterpreted the overexposure regulation.
The report did not identify the customer. But health department spokeswoman Donna Leusner told the Associated Press that the May 14 inspection was prompted by news coverage of the "deeply tanned" Patricia Krentcil. Leusner wouldn't say whether Krentcil was the over overexposed customer.
A grand jury is considering whether to indict the 44-year-old mother of four for the burns her daughter reportedly suffered while standing in a City Tropics booth. Krentcil and the salon owner, Anthony Ruccatano, denied the girl, now 6, entered the booth.
Children under 14 are not allowed in New Jersey tanning salons.
Ruccatano has said that Krentcil used an unlimited membership to tan about 20 times a month.
He said that in his eight years of owning tanning salons he had never before had a violation, and that he didn't think he had ever been inspected before. He also said tanning salons would go out of business if customers were limited to once a week.
"You tell a person you can't tan more than once a week? That's ridiculous," Ruccatano told AP. "We're barely keeping the doors open now."
He told the Sun, however, that he has gained about 100 new customers because of the publicity.
By Michael Winter, USA TODAY